Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Songster notes, perhaps superfluously but certainly accurately, that Dr. Dany is also very cute.
NDP stands for New Democratic Party which is regarded as center-left in its place on the political spectrum. Local NDP branches form the provincial governments of Manitoba and Nova Scotia -- the Party seems to have "arrived" pretty securely in Canada's political life. Dany's already the NDP associate critic for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual issues.
How very different is the political reality for LGBT citizens of Canada versus those of the United States! Here we get to watch as candidates for President from one of our two major political parties and their Christianist supporters spew hate speech, argue as to whether we should have all existing legal protections stripped from us, or be deported, or forced into ex-gay therapy, or put into camps, or all of the above. Or just killed.
I know that no place is absolutely perfect (although Denmark heads the list every time the poll of the world's happiest people is updated, and my four trips there convince me that it's true) but the contrast right now between the US and what looks like a blessedly rational nation just to our north seems particularly sharp these days.
Bonne Chance!, Dany -- perhaps you'd be a good candidate for that new Ministry position should it ever come into being.
On his wonderful blog The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross who is a MacArthur "genius award" recipient and the music critic for The New Yorker, comes down firmly on the side of the unstuffy and unpretentious in concert wear for performers:
"There's an interesting debate going on among Mark Swed, Amanda Ameer, and Anne Midgette over Yuja Wang's fashion choices at recent recitals.
"I'd side with Anne here. For too long classical performers have been costumed essentially as high-end hired help; let them dress as they wish."
I was very pleased that Alex takes this stand. Musicians in full evening dress is really an anachronism. On the few occasions where a more informal, yet still neat and non-distracting style has been worn by an orchestra, I have been much more comfortable myself. And surely the purchase and upkeep of all that formal wear will become a progressively bigger burden to musicians as orchestras beg for wage and benefit concessions in the face of the worsening economic situation for arts organizations.
Men's formal wear was largely fixed in the aftermath of Prince Albert's death when Queen Victoria decreed standards of formal dress during the heavy mourning period decreed for her late husband. Previously, there really hadn't been any formal "uniform" for men -- they merely wore the best versions they had of the style of the time. Interestingly, no fixed style has been imposed on women once orchestras became gender-integrated. The women wear what they want: pants, dresses of varying hem height, long or short sleeves, etc. just so it's black.
I do understand the idea of a uniform color to avoid visual distraction within a large group. I just think that it's time to leave mourning for Prince Albert behind.
Do stop over to the tumblr site Bachmann-eyezed! Where all sorts of people from politicians to Betty White have been given Bachmann "crazy eyes." The site proudly declares, "We use nothing but 100% real Michele Bachmann eyes" and solicits your nomination for anyone you'd like to see get the Bachmann treatment. I have requested Richard Nixon -- I think Bachmann eyes would give him the final flourish of crazed megalomania. www://http://bachmanneyezed.tumblr.com/
Thanks for the lesson in sartorial tradition for musicians. I did not know that. Yeah, it's probably time for a change.
Java--thanks for stopping by!
Mark--Ms Wang is wearing what I call a gownless evening strap. :-)
Queen Victoria went into perpetual mourning that lasted for the rest of her notably long life.
It is one of the oddities of the Canadian first-past-the-post system that, with three parties involved, results can often favour two to the complete detriment of the third. Thus, the old PC got wiped out in the early nineties, and the Liberals this last time. Our current government is, alas, cut from much the same cloth as your Tea Party.
For a good - partisan - blog from the left end of the Canadian blogosphere, have a look at Montreal Simon.